From HIM We Come, To HIM We Return

Today (7th August 2009), genap setahun Mr.Gonzales lost his father. He went back home (Muar) this afternoon. He planned to stay at IPBA this weekend. But suddenly he missed his father so much that at the last minute, he changed his mind to go home. Plus, his mother and brothers are not well, so I think it’s best for him to spend the weekend at home accompanying them.

Speaking bout thing like this (losing people that we love), it reminds me of losing my own grandpa that I called, ‘Atuk’. I lost atuk when I was 14. Actually,  I wasn’t really close to him even though he spent his last days at my house and died at my house too.. I guessed, we had not really spent time together then. And guess what? I didn’t even know that he was gone until after 3 days he was buried! No one told me about it. No one told me that he was gone. If I hadn’t called my mother to ask her to come over to my hostel that weekend, I dunno when the hell they would tell me the news. I asked my mother why didn’t she tell me earlier so that someone could pick me up at the hostel. My mother apologized and said that everyone was busy that day. My father could not leave the house with sooo many people unattended, and my mother could not drive. The news came late to my other siblings, so they were not there till the next morning. When they all got there, it was already time to go to the cemetery. Until now, I still dunno what was it that held them to just tell me the news instead of letting me knew the news by myself. And I had enough of asking them over and over again. So when my friends asked me why didn’t I go back home when atuk died, I just said what my mother exactly said, ‘everyone was busy’.

Like I said, I wasn’t so close to him. In fact, I remembered hating him when I was little coz he always made fun of my long name. He always put ‘Siti’ in front of my name and for some reasons, it annoyed me sooo much then. He loved to tease me too. I always felt that I was being bullied by him. That was why I didn’t like going to his house. That was why I distanced myself from him. So, when people asked me how my atuk was like, I didn’t really know what to say. Coz besides his physical appearance, I didn’t really knew what he was like. I spent so much time of avoiding him. I was so ‘sad and hurt’ that he kept teasing me and calling me ‘Siti’. Huh, kids. Always take every single thing seriously.

When he was sick, he chose to stay at my house. Knowing that he would come, I became so restless. I did not want him to come coz he might tease me again, but at the same time, I kept waiting for him. I asked my mother everyday, ‘biler atuk nk datang? biler atuk nk datang?’. When finally he came, I stood by the window and saw him getting out of my uncle’s car. I was pretty shocked. He didn’t look like my atuk. He looked so different, and very thin. He could not walk. My mother and my grandma helped him getting inside the house.

He was so weak that all he could do was lying down all the time. Every time I looked at him, he gave me an empty look. It was like he had never known me before. Funny that I every time I walked pass him, I hoped he teased me. I hoped he called me ‘Siti’, the name that he loved very much. But he didn’t bother doing any of that anymore. He was like a very very different person.

I was still avoiding him. But this time, it was different. I didn’t avoid him because I hated him. I avoided him because I was scared. I was scared of his thin face, of his bony body, and of his groaning if the illness attacked him. When my mother was busy at the kitchen and asked me to help her giving atuk a glass of water, I always tried to refuse. I gave so many excuses. If I couldn’t convince my mother, I just finally went to him, put the glass in front of him, and quickly walked away. Then, I slightly turned back to see if he drank the water I gave him. He sometimes did (with my grandma’s help, of course), sometimes did not.

Until the day I went back to hostel, he was still at my house. That was probably the last time I saw him in my life before I heard the news that he was gone.

Al-Fatihah

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